USA – Ford is using plastic reinforced with rice hulls – a byproduct of rice grain – in an electrical harness in the 2014 F-150.

The rice hulls replace a talc-based reinforcement in a polypropylene composite made by RheTech, a Michigan-based automotive supplier.

Materials development engineers at Ford Materials Engineering, Testing and Standards in Dearborn, in conjunction with RheTech, conducted testing of the rice hull material for more than a year, examining everything from smell and appearance to functionality and flammability. The rice hull-based material successfully passed all tests.

F-Series trucks already feature:

Recycled cotton in carpet insulation and a sound absorber

Soy beans in seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints

Recycled carpet: Some F-150 trucks have cylinder head covers made with EcoLon, a nylon resin produced from 100% post-consumer recycled carpet

A thermoplastic material made from recycled tires and postconsumer recycled polypropylene is used to make shields and some underbody covers on F-150

A lightweight fibre derived from recycled plastic bottles is used to construct F-150 wheel liners and shields.

Recycled post-industrial plastics are used in interior fi nish panels, including around radio and climate controls